RSF calls for action on journalist death

ITANAGAR, Oct 31: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Indian authorities to shed all possible light on the murder of Chandan Tiwari, a journalist based in a rural area of Chatra district, in the eastern state of Jharkhand, who was beaten to death after receiving threats in connection with his reporting.
Abducted by men on a motorcycle on the morning of 29 October, Chandan Tiwari was found beaten unconscious several hours later in a forest about 100 km from his home, and was pronounced dead when his body was brought to a hospital, RSF said.
Aged 32 and a reporter for the Hindi-language newspaper Aaj, Tiwari had filed two reports with the police in the past six months about the threats he had received. His father said that in the most recent complaint, two months ago, Tiwari had reported fearing reprisals by members of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a Maoist splinter group he had criticized.
Tiwari gave more details in the earlier complaint, filed on 6 April. He said that, after writing about financial irregularities in the way a federal housing programme for the rural poor was being implemented locally, he was warned that he would suffer “dire consequences” if he continued to cover the story.
After obtaining a copy of the complaint, the Hindustan Times reported that Tiwari had named the three people who had threatened him, one of whom was the husband of the mukhiya (village chief). The police did not, however, taken any steps to protect Tiwari.
“We call on the police to do everything possible to find those responsible for Chandan Tiwari’s horrible murder, both the perpetrators and instigators,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “Above all, the federal government must take proper measures, together with the governments in each state, to ensure that effective protection is finally provided to journalists who report death threats to the police.”